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Disability Allies Win Races for Senate & Governor

Updated Nov. 10

Washington, D.C., Nov. 4 – It is the morning after Election Day 2020 and many results are still being counted. RespectAbility stresses the importance of counting every vote, particularly as many people with disabilities chose to vote early – both in-person and via mail – in this election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several states have not counted all of their early voting ballots yet.

Although many results are still not finalized, several candidates who support opportunities for people with disabilities already have been declared as winners. These individuals completed the 2020 Disability Voter Questionnaire for presidential, Senate and gubernatorial candidates put out by the national disability inclusion organization RespectAbility. RespectAbility is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to ending stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities.

Headshots of seven candidates who won their elections after completing RespectAbility's disability questionnaire

In a Senate pickup for the Democratic party, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has won a hotly contested race for the Colorado Senate seat, beating Republican incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner. Meanwhile, incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines will continue to represent Montana in the U.S. Senate, beating Democratic challenger Gov. Steve Bullock. In Maine, incumbent Republican Sen. Susan Collins has won a hotly contested race to continue serving in the U.S. Senate, beating Democratic challenger Sara Gideon. And in North Carolina, incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis defeated Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham and will serve another term in the U.S. Senate.

Additionally, three incumbent Governors who showed their support of people with disabilities by completing the questionnaire have won re-election. Democratic incumbent Roy Cooper has won a second term as Governor of North Carolina, beating Republican challenger Dan Forest. Democratic incumbent John Carney has won a second term as Delaware’s Governor, beating Republican challenger Julianne Murray. And Republican incumbent Eric Holcomb was re-elected as Governor of Indiana, beating Democratic challenger Dr. Woodrow Myers.

Read questionnaire responses from the six candidates who already have won their elections:

While RespectAbility did not actively solicit questionnaire responses in Congressional races, it is worth noting that three high-profile Congressional candidates with disabilities also won their races. Republican Madison Cawthorn, who uses a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury but has yet to engage the disability community, becomes the youngest person ever elected to Congress at 25 years old. Republican Dan Crenshaw, who sustained an injury that impacted his vision, won re-election in Texas. And Democrat Jim Langevin, who uses a wheelchair and is a leader of the disability caucus in Congress, won re-election to his seat in Rhode Island.

“Clearly, connecting with voters with disabilities is a winning strategy,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility. “We congratulate the winners of the election and look forward to working with them on a wide range of issues so that together we can build an inclusive economy where people with disabilities can have the dignity and income of work, just like anyone else.”

RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates.

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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